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Essay with reference to the following Thomas Hardy short stories "Tony Kytes: Arch Deceiver", "Old Mrs. Chundle", "An Imaginative Woman", "Squire Petrick's Lady" and lastly "Destiny and a Blue Cloak".

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English Essay Having read five of Thomas Hardy's short Stories, compare his description of the relationships between men and women. Pay particular attention to the language Hardy uses to convey situations and emotions. I have chosen to do my essay with reference to the following Thomas Hardy short stories "Tony Kytes: Arch Deceiver", "Old Mrs. Chundle", "An Imaginative Woman", "Squire Petrick's Lady" and lastly "Destiny and a Blue Cloak". Introduction Born in Higher Bockhampton on the 2nd of June 1840, Thomas Hardy died at Max Gate, his house on the outskirts of Dorchester, on the 11th January 1928. Thomas Hardy once commented to a friend that he would never have written a line of prose if he could have earned his living as a poet, yet it is as the author of some of the greatest novels ever written in the English language that he is best remembered. Hardy wrote from his personal knowledge and experience. His characters were drawn from people, real and remembered, and his settings were in locations known to him. He could, and did, move buildings and places from their precise geographic position to suit the requirements of his plot. He changed the names, not to confuse, but to indicate that though the places he described in magnificent imagery were real, the events were fiction. Hardy lived a very normal lifestyle, fulfilling his aims and enjoying his recreational activities. He was, at the time, perceived as a woman sympathiser and, through his work, raised public awareness about the maltreatment of women in the society. We must remember that this society at the time was a sexist one, in which men had a dominant role in the society, and women a submissive one. It was also due to this fact that, a man who publicly or privately beat his wife for whatever reason, if any, was not punished in any way, it was just seen as normal in the society. ...read more.


. . . O, if I had only once met him --only once; and put my hand upon his hot forehead -- kissed him -- let him know how I loved him -- that I would have suffered shame and scorn, would have lived and died, for him! Perhaps it would have saved his dear life! . . . But no -- it was not allowed! God is a jealous God; and that happiness was not for him and me!" She is deeply upset and blames herself for his death; she has lost a relationship and her lover. She begins to sink; her life is no longer worth living. Hardy's language in the previous speech by Elle, shows us how much she cares for Trewe and shows us more of her emotions. She still though, wants to maintain their relationship, she asks for a lock of his hair, and kisses it all the time, which shows their relationship is stronger than ever. This is well conveyed by her asking for the lock of hair and kissing it. Marchmill finally realises his wife's unfaithfulness to him when he realises that she loved Trewe and sees the lock of hair and follows her to his grave. She finally become so miserable that she thinks that she is going to die with the birth of her fourth child. Her husband dismisses the idea. Just before her death she confesses everything to Marchmill and it is by chance that he sees the dates on an envelope a few years later and ultimately concludes that the fourth son is not his, but Trewe's. He shuns the child, thinking it to be Trewe's. This is however impossible because Elle never met Trewe. This story conveys the message about women being unfaithful to their partners. Unlike Tony Kytes, when Tony was the unfaithful one. This story also, like the first, seems to suggest that women do not have good relationships with men. ...read more.


Due to this, his very good relationship with Mrs. Chundle begins to suffer drastically and he tries to avoid her. "He did not call on Mrs Chundle the next week, a slight cooling of his zeal for her spiritual welfare being manifest; but he encountered her at the house of another cottager whom he was visiting; and she immediately addressed him as a partner in the same enterprise" When he does see her, she tells him that it worked, and she will be coming regularly to Church from now on. Hardy captures his thoughts, feelings and emotions brilliantly through his use of language when he says "The curate quivered internally" Thinking obviously that he would have to put up with the bad breath every week. By the next weeks, the ordeal is repeated, and to him, his relationship with Mrs. Chundle is now non-existent, he says that he will tell her not to come anymore. When the message came from her, his relationship with her was so unimportant that her put off going for a day. When he realises that the Old Woman is dead, he feels utter guilt, Hardy describes his emotions as "Like Peter at the cock-crow", "His eyes were wet" and "Covered his face with his hands". This obviously shows that he still had a special relationship with Mrs. Chundle despite everything, as does the fact that he knelt down and wept for a few minutes. This story unlike the others shows a relationship between a young man and an Old woman. In all of the stories Hardy has involved a central man and women and their relationships may have started off as good, secure relationships but by the end their relationships have been torn apart or very bad, due to the element of unfaithfulness by one of the sexes. So the morals of the stories and their similarity is that men and women have not had good relationships and this is constantly show by Hardy through the language he uses and his storylines. By Kashif Hussain 11H ...read more.

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